Do You Struggle To Recharge On The Motorway?

Tue 30th May 2023

The Government looks set to miss its targets on EV chargers in motorway service stations says new research.

According to the RAC's review on Zapmap, a mere 23% to 27% of the 119 motorway services analysed have the requisite number of chargers to cater to the estimated 760,000 battery electric vehicles in the United Kingdom. 

The research conducted by one of the UK’s largest motoring organisations show that there are in the region 400 high-capacity charging units located at motorway services, which have the potential to charge up to 682 electric vehicles simultaneously. Presently, the average number of rapid or ultra-rapid chargers available at motorway services is slightly above three (3.4).

Further analysis of connectors present in these devices reveals that the mean number of the most frequently utilised CCS (Combined Charging System) connectors is approximately four (3.8), while the number of CHadeMO connectors, which are primarily employed by operators of the highly sought-after Nissan Leaf, is just below two (1.8). 

Several motorway services in England lack high-powered charging facilities. The following rest areas are situated along major highways: Leicester Forest flanks both sides of the M1, Tebay South is located on the M6, Carlisle Northbound is situated on the M1, Strensham Southbound is positioned on the M5, and Barton Park is situated on the A1(M).

Speaking about the shortage, Simon Williams from the RAC said: “Our findings show there is much work to be done before the end of the year if the Government’s target of having six high-powered chargers at every motorway service area is to be met.

“Installing these types of units is not straightforward as connecting to the electricity grid is expensive and time-consuming, but clearly more needs to be done to make this process simpler than it is currently. While we understand the Government is taking steps to expedite matters, the importance of ensuring sufficient high-powered charging is readily available up and down our motorway network can’t be emphasised enough.

“As a lack of charging facilities is rapidly becoming one of the most widely quoted reasons for drivers not going electric, all parties involved in making installations happen must work together to overcome this obstacle.”